President Obama Announces Educational Exchange Initiatives

President Obama has announced an initiative to promote the exchange of higher education students between the United States, and Latin America including the Caribbean. The program’s name, “100,000 Strong in the Americas,” indicates the goal: 100,000 students traveling for study abroad each year, in both directions.

With a desire for increased understanding in the Western Hemisphere and closer people-to-people ties, the White House said that it hopes that the program will help participating governments through these exchanges work together to address common challenges including citizen security, economic opportunity, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability.

The foundation for the academic and research exchanges will be to develop new and existing relationships between institutions of higher education in the United States and in the Americas. Participating institutions will include universities, community colleges, and states. EducationUSA, a U.S. government-supported network of more than 100 advising centers located around the region, will play a leading role in making connections between U.S. institutions of higher learning and students throughout the hemisphere.

The U.S. government is partnering with other governments throughout the Caribbean and Latin America to make scholarships available to students who want to study abroad. Qualified students can gain access to advising and placement services, as well as timely access to information about opportunities for education in the United States and such crucial matters as visas.

The Administration welcomes and expects participation of the private sector. Donations from organizations, businesses and individuals can expand the reach of existing programs or create new avenues for educational opportunities that complement the goals of donors. The U.S. government works in concert with programs such as Gilman, Fulbright and the Global Undergraduate Exchange, to allow the private sector to help increase the number of exchange students or enhance their opportunities.

Brazil has emerged as a key partner in the exchange initiative. During summer 2012, the Department of Commerce and EducationUSA will be sponsoring an Education Mission to Brazil, with the goal of connecting approximately 60 U.S. institutions of higher learning with prospective students and university partners in Brazil.

In addition, Brazil’s President Rousseff has championed that country’s Science Without Borders campaign which aims to fund more than 100,000 Brazilian scholars and university students in the fields of mathematics and science to conduct research and study abroad over a four year period. The government will fund 75,000 students, with the private sector funding the rest. More than half of the students are expected to conduct their studies in the United States, contributing greatly to the goals of President Obama’s 100,000 Strong program.

Stewart Rabinowitz is President of Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. Mr. Rabinowitz is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. To contact a Dallas immigration lawyer or Dallas immigration attorney visit Rabinowitzrabinowitz.com